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Coyotes beat Sharks 5-2, extend winning streak to four games

© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Starting off as a physical grudge match, the Arizona Coyotes scored three times in the second period to propel them to a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.

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Sharks right wing Givani Smith and ‘Yotes forward Liam O’Brien were the story in the first period as they traded shoves and jawed at each other multiple times before the referees had to step in.

Keller would set up defenseman Michael Kesselring for a one-timer to the top left corner of the net and scored to make it 1-0 4:58 into the second period.

Both teams capitalized off of the other making defensive blunders with Keller and former Coyote Anthony Duclair buring their opportunities.

In a span on 3:32, the game went from an uneventful 0-0 tie to 2-1 just like that.

Crashing the net, Schmaltz and Coyotes center Alex Kerfoot connected on a tap-in, though the puck deflected off Kerfoot’s skate before crossing the goal line. The officials deemed there was no kicking motion and the goal extended Arizona’s lead to 3-1 with 7:04 left in the second frame.

The physicality did not evaporate, but elevate with Sharks defenseman Jan Rutta delivering a gargantuan hit on Coyotes defenseman Sean Durzi.

Durzi would remain on the ice in pain, but would eventually get up and continue. This was his first game after missing the last five with a lower body injury.

San Jose right wing Filip Zadina poked the puck and it slowly trickled under the left pad of Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka only 0:26 into the third period.

After Durzi’s incident, ‘Yotes rookie Logan Cooley was tripped by Sharks forward Fabian Zetterlund and heavily crashed into the boards. Luckily for Arizona, they dodged yet another injury scare as Cooley would return a few shifts later.

Schmaltz scored on the power play before Coyotes left wing Lawson Crouse got in on the action with his 14 goal of the season as Arizona went on to win 5-2.

Arizona’s winning streak grows to four-straight games, are 17-13-2 and have 36 points on the year. The Coyotes conclude their two-game roadtrip before Christmas as they head to Colorado and face the Avalanche on Saturday.

On the other hand, San Jose are now on a four-game losing skid, hold a 9-21-3 record with 21 points and sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division. They too will play on Dec. 23, but will go up against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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